Graduation ceremonies, while long and boring, are the big finish to years of hard work and anxiety. The exams, the essays, the all-nighters, the poor diet -- they all lead to this piece of paper. Of course, college is about more than the diploma itself, but for that one day all that matters is crossing the stage with your classmates and throwing your hats in the air.
As those hats rain down, you realize you're no longer a student. You're an adult who needs a job and has to start repaying those student loans.
Fortunately, many employers are looking for workers just like you. New graduates are ideal candidates for many reasons -- you're educated, energetic and looking to enter a new industry.
"Faced with uncertainty about their job prospects, the Class of 2010 worked hard and dedicated time to the things they could control -- academics, activities, community service -- instead of worrying about the things they couldn't. This speaks volumes about their work ethic and drive. These traits are extremely valuable at GEICO," says Matt Duren, college recruiting manager for GEICO.
Good news: GEICO isn't the only company with this point of view. To help the best and brightest of 2010, here are 17 companies who are ready and eager to hire new graduates right now.
Industry: Life insurance
Sample job titles: Sales associate
Location: Nationwide (except Wyo. And N.Y.)
Sample job titles: Management Trainees and Sales Personnel
Location: New York metropolitan region, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, Washington, Orlando, Tampa
Industry: Pharmaceutical and medical distribution
Sample job titles: Accounting and finance, communications, customer service, human resources, information technology, marketing, pharmacy, sales, warehouse operations
Sample job titles: Brokers
Location: Denver, Phoenix, Indianapolis
Sample job titles: Truck driver
Sample job titles: District manager, store manager candidate, assistant store manager
Location: Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, Scranton
Sample job titles: Sales associate, sales manager, general manager
Industry: Online Media
Sample job titles: Writer, photographer
Sample job titles: Sales representatives, actuarial assistants, analysts, supervisor leadership program (fast-track development program), customer service representatives, claims representatives, information technology professionals
Locations: Chevy Chase, Md., Honolulu, Dallas, Woodbury, N.Y., Buffalo, Fredericksburg, Va., Tucson, San Diego, Calif., Virginia Beach, Va., Lakeland, Fla., Macon, Ga.
Industry: Management consulting firm
Sample job titles: Higher education and life sciences analyst, Wellspring+Stockamp Huron Healthcare analysts
Location: National, Chicago, New York, Atlanta
Sample job titles: Sales representatives
Industry: Food service
Sample job titles: Shift Manager and General Manager
Location: California, New York, Chicago, Florida
Sample job titles: Sales and management training program
Industry: Insurance/financial sales
Sample job titles: Entry level financial sales, entry level sales/sales management
Industry: Finance/mortgage lender services
Sample job titles: Closing coordinator, title examiner, QC reviewer, staff appraiser
Locations: Coraopolis, Penn., Aliquippa, Penn., Virginia Beach, Irvine, Calif., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Buffalo, Denver, Kansas City, Kan.
Industry: Health care
Sample job titles: Registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN), and nurse management
Industry: Financial services/investments
Sample job titles: Client relationship associate, processing associate, supervisor/team leader, financial planner
Location: Valley Forge, Penn., Scottsdale, Charlotte, N.C.
Anthony Balderrama is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog, The Work Buzz. He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/abalderrama.